With 4th of July weekend here, freedom is on my mind. America was born in order to "be free" and independent of an oppressive political relationship. The Declaration of Independence was their way of putting into writing their grievances, their intention of independence and declaring their identity as a free people.
Serving on a mission team in Zimbabwe , one of the common phrases heard from the Zimbabwe people was "Be free." We were American middle class Christians accustomed to schedules and keeping our eye on our wrist watches (before we had cell phones) and. We knew what it meant to set an agenda, be on time, and work to check off the items on our to-do list. Back home we all experienced a daily roof over our heads, food on the table, a job, a "safe" community and a variety of resources in our lives. We could not take these things with it but we did take our attempt to "manage" time rather than experience the gift of the present moment.
Here we were in the midst of a people whose resources were limited, they did not always know where there next meal would come from, jobs were scarce, and the government was unstable. As impoverished as they were in these material and political ways, their lives held a joy in the now. They wanted a different way of life however, before they arrived at this destination of a different way, their spirits were already free. There were countless variables in their lives which meant they could not always be on time or even attend some of the scheduled mission events. When this would happen, with a smile they would tell us "be free." Their words of wisdom still ring in our hearts.
Sometimes we must remind ourselves and invite others to "be free" in the midst of difficult and undesirable circumstances that are not going to change over night. Sometimes we have to put it in writing, and declare it to all. It doesn't matter what country you live in, your race, your economic status, your educational achievements, your physical abilities or lack of, your appearance, your lineage, or anything else- anyone and everyone is invited to "be free."
What does it mean for you to "be free?" What are you free from and desire to be free of? Look around. What does the gift of your present moment look like? Let freedom reign.